Japan Non-Work Visas

Many people think that Japan work visas are the only visas they can obtain when living in Japan.

However, there is a wide range of non-work related visas that can be obtained. These non-work options consist mainly of status of residence (“SOR”) associated with the so-called General Visa category.

The 2014 edition of The Japan Visa Handbook provides a step-by-step guide to understanding the requirements for obtaining a General Visa to live in Japan.

These visas allow an applicant to participate in activities such as language courses and the study of traditional Japanese culture including martial arts and flower arranging.

It should be noted that, though these are primarily non-work categories, once in Japan it may be possible to obtain special permission to undertake part-time work.

The main visas to live in Japan under the General Visa category are as follows:

  • Japan Cultural Activities Visa
  • Japan College Student Visa
  • Japan Pre-College Visa
  • Japan Training Visa
  • Japan Dependents Visa

The difference between the various visas lies in the qualifications required and / or the type of activities that can be undertaken by the holder of the visa.